By Standard Team
The Government is on high alert following an outbreak of Ebola in Uganda that has, so far, claimed 14 people.
Director of Public Health Dr Shahnaaz Sharriff said they have readied specialised teams to respond to a possible Ebola outbreak just in case the virus crosses over from Uganda, where more cases of the virulent disease were reported in the capital Kampala.
Sharriff disclosed rapid response measures are in place to deal with the haemorrhagic fever, to allay rising fears that the dreaded disease may spread into the country.
“We are confident Ebola will be contained in Uganda but in case of an outbreak in Kenya, we are prepared to handle it,” he said yesterday in a phone interview with The Standard.
Speaking to the Press at Busia District headquarters, Busia acting DC John Maingi, who chairs a team comprising Immigration officials, District Medical officers, the Provincial Administration, Red Cross and Public Health officials said the group is tasked with co-ordinating surveillance, screening of visitors and information dissemination to ensure the disease does not spread.
Maingi said Busia County is considered vulnerable because of its proximity to Uganda and the frequent interactions between members of the two countries.
District Public Health Officer Ambrose Fwamba said screening of visitors began on Sunday evening, adding that an isolation point had been erected at the frontier and in Busia Hospital where those who have contracted the disease will be admitted.
He said government officials working at the border point have already been provided with personal protective equipment to be used while screening visitors.
Mr Fwamba said the team was also moving around local schools to provide information about the disease with emphasis on the way the disease is transmitted and the symptoms.
“We are using the Provincial Administration and education officials to pass information regarding transmission and how to identify those who have contracted the disease,” said Fwamba.